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Phonics and Reading



At Harrison Primary School, early reading is taught using synthetic phonics as the main approach to reading. The school follows the government published programme “Letters and Sounds” which supports us in providing a multi-sensory approach to learning phonics. Pupils are systematically taught the phonemes (sounds), how to blend the sounds all through the word for reading, and how to segment the sounds in order to write words. They are taught to use their phonic skills and knowledge as their first approach to reading, but are also taught high frequency words which do not completely follow the phonic rules.




At Harrison Primary School, we have recently purchased a new range of phonetically decodable reading books which will help the children to practice their phonic skills while they are learning to read. The range of published schemes used include Dandelion Readers Rigby Star Phonics, Big Cat Phonics, Fun with Phonics, Floppy Phonics, Phonics Bug and Songbirds.


All of our early reading books are colour banded. Your child will be given a colour band to choose their home reading book from which will help to ensure that the book they select is at about the right reading level for them. Every colour band includes books from a range of reading schemes so that they will experience a range of stories, text types and illustrations. We encourage parents to use the non-phonetically decodable books to read together, followed by asking and answering questions about the text in order to improve comprehension skills.




At Harrison Primary School, we encourage pupils to develop a love of reading before they start school by taking part in our Reading Challenge, in conjunction with Fareham library, borrowing books to enjoy with their families.


Once they begin school, we continue to encourage families to share books with their child, and all classes have a designated story time. From YR, pupils have a weekly school library visit and continue to take home books for sharing with their parents alongside their own reading book. We hope that these habits continue as pupils get older – once they are independent readers, pupils select their own reading material, but our school librarian is still on hand to guide and advise pupils. Our librarian is also very happy to speak to parents who want to support their child in widening their reading habits during the after school sessions (please see the newsletter for times). Teachers also share their current reading material outside their classrooms to promote a reading rich environment.


Mrs Davies and Mrs Clyma also organise many school events to promote reading including author events, bed-time stories, reading picnics and story treasure hunts.